Alhousseyni Sako is being recognized by the Autism Alliance of Michigan as an outstanding Direct Support Professional for the month of December 2019! 

For the past three years, Alhousseyni, or Seyni as he is known by, has been working as a full time Direct Support Professional in the Lansing area for Steffan, a 30-year-old gentleman who lives with global developmental delay, autism spectrum disorder, generalized seizure disorder, and cerebral palsy. 

Since the first day that Seyni and Steffan met, they have been inseparable best friends.  When Steffan’s father was training Seyni, he simply said, “treat Steffan like you would treat your own brother.” Little did anyone know from that day forward that these two young men’s souls would join in a way that would positively impact each of their lives forever. Seyni has truly been welcomed as a special member of Steffan’s entire family.  Steffan’s parents and sister, as well as aunts, uncles and cousins all love and admire the care that he provides for Steffan.  

Beyond the consistent and reliable daily programming and community outings they do together, Seyni provides Steffan with something that you cannot train or coach – unconditional love, acceptance, patience and respect. Although Steffan is unable to communicate verbally, he and Seyni have an unspoken understanding and trusting relationship that can only be matched by his immediate family.

Steffan and Seyni routinely go on adventures all around the city – a few of their favorite activities include swimming at the YMCA and going to the Lansing Mall to play the community piano and then relax in the massage chairs together. Seyni has a generous heart – he has given Steffan Christmas gifts and birthday gifts including an enormous stuffed tiger, acoustic guitar, electronic learning toys, and even a matching outfit so that they can both go out in public twinning together. 

Seyni has also gone above and beyond in assisting the entire family. Like many other aging parents and caregivers of adult children with significant care needs, Steffan’s parents have dedicated their past 30 years to ensuring that Steffan is safe, loved and cared for in their family home. Yet, they recognize that they likely would not be able to continue to do so if it weren’t for Seyni.  With Steffan’s parents having medical and physical limitations themselves, Seyni has stepped up by attending Steffan’s regular doctor appointments, Person Centered Planning meetings, weekly Occupational Therapy and swimming sessions, and he even mows the family’s lawn. 

Seyni is an amazing person and teacher to everyone he meets. He faces challenges with a strong faith and walks through life with love and a belief of always seeing the good in others. Seyni’s servant heart is the epitome of what every autism parent hopes for in a Direct Support Professional who works so closely with their special child.  Steffan’s family truly loves Seyni and feel blessed that God brought him into their lives. Steffan and his family have grown by one, and Steffan now has a best friend and brother. 

Please keep the nominations of your favorite DSP Ally to [email protected].

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